I like seeing you guys around the web.

I haven't been on the forums for long, but already I'm recognizing names from here on other websites (/r/WebFiction certainly looks more familiar, and I found someone else on Wattpad!).


How is it out there? Where else are you getting involved? Other than WFG, have you found any places drumming up support for your work - or any places you haven't seen much activity at all?


I tend to get most of my support from tumblr or twitter, since I've had a pre-existing readership there for short stuff, fanfiction and my RPG work, before I started my web serial. I've also grown it there over time by posting to tags/hashtags.


As far as no activity at all, Google Plus. I feel like it's less a standard social network and more like a closed community builder -- people turtle up in closed circles. When you post to the wider community you just get a lot of spam.


This is something that I've been wrestling with for a while: Tumblr. I've got a pseudo-blog to complement my webfic, but it's hosted on its own domain and that makes it feel pretty isolated. Just for the sake of tags and other users' convenience in notes (or whatever the Tumblr 'like' is), I've wondered if it would be better to scrap having it on my domain and move it there instead. It sounds like it might get more attention.


But then I think, 'If you build it, they will come', and whether it's got the option for notes or not, I'm still missing the big picture in developing a readerbase.


I was just never the sort to get into Twitter, though it would be useful as far as promoting a story. Before and during my story, my commentary on Worm was primarily how people knew me. That doesn't always translate to views, though. Aside from that, I was surprised to find that at least one person who read my story was over at Patheos, which is more of a website hosting various religion-oriented blogs.


Honestly, I haven't even had the energy to keep up with a lot of things I normally follow lately, let alone try and promote anywhere else.


Tartra: I go on tumblr primarily for the community I've found there. I've met a lot of great people over time and they're the main feature for me. Were those people to go somewhere else I'd go with them. As far as the site itself, though, it's really hit and miss.


Tumblr is architecturally a pretty frustrating blogging platform. The text editor is finicky up to and including eating drafts and locking up the browser sometimes; the tagging system is byzantine, only the first 5 tags actually populate your posts but nowhere does it say this; the staff is constantly adding "features" and "tweaks" that break the site. Most recently they changed how the website processes images, with the end result that they're borderless and get resized and artifacted to hell. So as your primary blogging solution, I wouldn't choose it. I go for community.


To use tumblr without tearing your hair out you need to get a third party extension called XKit that fixes most of the problems.


My suggestion is if you want to try it, make a separate blog on there and explore it with that. If you don't click with it, then it's probably not worth it to migrate. Try making posts that introduce your web serial, something like this and posting them to tags like "long reads," "spilled ink," "prose fiction," "web fiction," etc (only the first 5 will populate so choose wisely). You can also make posts that alert people to new updates. See if anyone bites, they might over time. I'm still trying to figure out where the tumblr lit nerds are all at. I've had some luck tagging the themes of my story too, "queer fiction," "military fiction," "fantasy fiction," "period fiction," and so on. Sometimes I cheat and put "fanfiction" and "ya fiction" but don't tell anyone >_> ...


(That up there is a sideblog I made for my web serial. Most of my readership actually comes from my personal blog though.)


If this sounds like a really heavy time sink though, it's because it is! Like I've said a few times, if I wasn't *already* on social media for years now, it's probably not where I'd go for readers unless I was ready to spend a lot of time on it.


I'm kind of a grumpy recluse. WFG is one of the places where I spend a higher than average amount of time, which is kind of funny since I mostly just come by here to lurk. I spend time on Twitter, and on the Passive Voice (an indie writer site) and TVTropes (but just to read). That's about it. Everything else is on my site.


Because I'm a grumpy recluse.


I love Tumblr to death, mainly for the art and the humor (it's cool to watch someone make a joke, only to have someone comment on it, and then have someone else comment on it, and have this huge long chain of people riffing.) If you have art for your story, it might be worth making a Tumblr. Otherwise, I'm not sure how effective it would be to try and promote on the site.


I know Wildbow has had pretty good luck with Reddit, but I've never commented on a Reddit thread so idk.


Chuck Wendig has a blog, and the comments section is pretty interesting. Sometimes I go there and chime in. A non-web serial blog I was running got a bit of traffic once when I participated in Wendig's weekly short story challenge.


That's about it.


Did you decide when to start your next serial, @BillyHiggins?


As far as webfiction goes, I only hang out here and in the comments sections of stories I follow. and on Jukepop a little but it has a really high proportion of stories that never finish.


How nice of you to ask, @Fiona Gregory!


I decided to start my serial about a month ago. Or rather, exactly a month ago, since it was November 5. (Should I do it? Should I provide the link? Am I going to do it? I'm totally going to do it.)


Here it is: http://kindasupergay.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/chapter-one-like-ordering-a-pizza/


In regards to Jukepop, I can't say I'm surprised. I haven't checked in a while, but don't they pay you a little bit for your first post, and only your first post? I was looking at that a year or two ago, and definitely felt the temptation to just write a first post and scram. Most people probably quit just because it's hard to keep up a long-running web serial, but I'm sure there are some who see a little bit of money and decide to just do what they can to get it.


Jukepop versus Wattpad - go!


Like I said, I'm on Wattpad now, but it's looking like a younger crowd than I hoped. That's not a bad thing, but the constant, "^.^ super borrrreeeeed!" is driving me up the wall already. If I'm going to invest in digging through to a group I'd like, I'd want to know if there's a map I can look at to speed things up.


Good luck with the reader base thing. It's been over 3 years for me and I'm still trying to figure that out - at least I've been able to cross some off that potentials list! In terms of people and occupations, that is, not so much platforms. Mostly because I haven't taken the time to investigate things like Tumblr, Reddit or Jukepop. Even this WFG system here, where I've been lurking for a year, I haven't had the chance to fully figure out, beyond locating stories that I don't have time to read. x.x But enough about day job problems, what have I actually used?


I've been lighting up Twitter for years, and found "TuesdaySerial" through them. Twitter was also one of three recommended platforms for getting the word out author-wise at a CanCon panel that I went to, the others being Facebook and Wattpad. I jumped on Wattpad too, but (big surprise) haven't had a chance to figure it out, so have only been posting up items from my archive. It's like I can either produce content, or promote my content, and given I find the former a more enjoyable use of my time (it makes me feel ten times less awkward), it gets the attention. So I'm liable to follow the rest of this thread with interest.


You know, I'm not crazy about Twitter in general. I have an account for my story purely for my noisy updates (for my seriously slow posts). Wattpad isn't awful, but it's such a massive community that's it hard to know where to jump in, and it's a little discouraging that all the most popular stories are romance fics. I'm going to keep at it - hopefully I find some way to interact with the community better - but it's not where I want to put all my eggs.


Reddit, however - that's where I spend a buttload of my time. I know what the users are like but I'm so paranoid and on board with anti-spam that I'm not sure how to convert that into, "Hey, check my story out!" /r/writing is definitely not the place to do it. /r/webfiction, while a good place to list your story, doesn't have much in the way of a 'community'. It's a sort of dumping ground, which is a shame because if I was ever going to learn from somebody, it'd be other serial writers, right? So /r/selfpublish is where I have my growing focus. /r/blogging seems fairly helpful, too!


I don't really...social media. Honestly, the whole thing irritates me and I've never developed a knack for it. Nearly all of my hits have come from either WFG or topwebfiction, with occasional spikes when other webserialists mention TGaB in their comments. I got a huge boost in traffic when Maddirose plugged my piece in a Twisted Cogs update--thanks for that, by the way!


Wildbow has sworn by the efficacy of setting up a TVTropes page, which is on my agenda. Between writing 15K words a week and working full-time, I have a shortage of both time and energy to work on the non-writing aspects of my serial most weeks.


I cannot wait until I have enough content for TVTropes. You know what? That's probably where I'm better off trying to get involved.


Hi Tartra -

I lurk on /r/webfiction to see who else is out there writing but it's not much of a community rather than an occasional source of traffic.


I'm also on Wattpad as are several female WFG alums. I see Tanya, Leticia Coyne, and Senna (A Frequent Traveller's Guide to Jovan) around somewhat actively. Palladian posts Super on there as well. A few others have come and gone from there, however, as it's a tough site to crack because of its skew towards specific romance/teen/new adult genres. (Still, the forums aren't bad for chatting.) The crossover or traffic "out" is not good as Wattpad is a self-contained environment . Most people read on the app and so other than the compulsive diehard fans, I don't see people come out to my standalone site unless I specifically poke at them in a story update (which is really distracting given the way the Wattpad app works) about art.


I also linger on Goodreads. There's a serial writers group but it's being used kind of in a bonkers counterintuitive way. A lot of GR folks just pop into it and promote their own story not understanding that the members are actually other authors also wanting to promote their own work. Few are the kind to read other stories so it's an amusingly unrewarding group.


Tumblr = I always autopost to tumblr when I update on my main site.Prose is not very strong on Tumblr unless it's the sort of short introspective journal type stuff. Don't expect much. It's a fandom site full of memes and pictures. It's super if you're an artist or great image finder . Otherwise, trying to rocket to Tumblr fame often requires playing off fandoms for maximal drama and cultivating notoriety. (Plus it is terrible for interaction as you can't write notes so... there's really not ideal interaction.)


Twitter = Mostly use it to chat with other authors. The Jukepop crowd (early author group) are all on there. I keep up with some authors that way. I think since they implemented their new JP community function many don't come out of JP anymore. Dont' even see that many on Goodreads and only see them on Twitter.


Starterserials= A few folks hang out there too but the chatter is quieter.


Deviantart: Someone tried to start up a serial group but they went kind of quiet so can't offer much there. It's possible Deviantart with its new rebranding will try to entice prose writers back but as a reading client they're still terrible. Think they've missed that boat.


LASTLY: Amazon is trying to launch some kind of serial thing (called "writeon"). I signed up and poked at the forums. Not hopping but not dead either. (http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/03/amazon-launches-writeon-to-compete-against-crowd-writing-sites-like-wattpad/)


WHile in Beta there is a higher proportion of books that look well crafted (compared to the average entry in Wattpad) so we'll see how it shapes up.


I've been all over the place trying to shove my stuff into peoples' faces- eeer interacting with more communities o/ Here's what I've found in my travels. These are all completely subjective of course.


*Google Plus*

Fun fact, no one knows how to use G+. I certainly don't. You don't. Your brother-in-law who works for Google Plus who says he is "one of the lead developers on Google Plus"? Yeah he doesn't know how to use it either. I know he says he does. Don't trust his lies.

As far as I can tell, the big problem with G+ is, as mentioned before, the circles. You're either in the microscopic pool of your friends' serials, or you're in the huge ocean of public content. I've had links to Orbital Academy on G+ for about 9 months, and have not had a single visit from them.


*Twitter*

I am so bad at twitter :( I've heard a lot of people have great success with it, but it does involve a little bit of work in a quite unique direction; you have to be pithy and interesting very consistently in small doses. I hear there are wonderful pockets of community all over the place but one needs to do the legwork to find them.


*Reddit*

Reddit is a weird little beast. On the one hand there are a HUGE number of readers to be found here. When first starting Orbital Academy, as a complete unknown, I had spikes of 500 visitors at a time from Reddit. On the other hand, they can be extremely touchy about people who they perceive as 'taking advantage' of them (aka "you're not a real part of our community, you're just here to push your own stuff), and the backlash for that can be intense. I got really turned off of reddit after being shadowbanned (where they make your posts invisible to everyone but you, so that you don't know you're banned, but think that everyone in the community is ignoring you), because the mods of the subreddit decided that since I was posting MY sexy stories to r/sexystories, I must be focused more on my own desires rather than the community. As soon as I stopped posting regular links to OA the readership dried up almost instantly.

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that mods of subreddits have complete control over those subreddits, and if they feel that you aren't "really" part of the community they have no problem cutting you out of it, without explanation or appeal. On the other hand, I can't deny that they are excellent at providing a gigantic one-time boost of readers. I posted a link to Mage Life there once and I believe Tempest got something on the order of 3,000 views that day.


*Tumblr*

I have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence that Tumblr has great communities. Indeed, I've *seen* a lot of great communities from the outside. I just don't have enough knowledge of the medium to find those that might like me. I'll have to use your methods Dennis, see if I don't have more success there.


*TVTropes*

I'd always loved reading TVTropes, and it provides a nice steady trickle of newcomers to my serials which is nice. I think they prefer that the content creators don't add or edit their own pages though, so you're a bit at the mercy of your fans when it comes to filling it out.


*WFG*

Seriously this community is just awesome. A lot of my readers, when I first started out, came from links via other, more well-established serials, and I try to pay it forward when I can. If nothing else, the amount of advice, both given to me and observed, is exceedingly helpful. Thus far this is the only place beyond my comment section that feels like a "community" that I'm a part of, and I love it.


*Other serials' comments sections*

You probably wouldn't think it, but I'm actually an incredibly shy person, especially when it comes to commenting on other peoples' serials. I should probably get over this, since I know how much help it can be to have someone starting the conversation on serials where there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of it. *Maddi resolves to comment more*


*Word-of-mouth, friends, family, etc*

I wouldn't suggest relying on this to bring in readers. I've been blessed with an EXTREMELY supportive set of friends and family who regularly read my stuff, but while they are probably MY biggest fans they're nowhere near my serial's biggest fans.


All in all I think DDWebb hit the nail on the head; it can be really really hard to make the time to both write a lot AND take core of the non-writing business. I do maintain that (depending on your end goal for your serial) it *is* important to take care of that business though. The returns on your time investment are just too valuable to ignore. Thanks everyone for the advice on getting into those communities that I've been slacking in; I'll definitely be using your advice to try to nudge my way in there.


I can't speak for a lot of these. My own natural tendency is to lurk, quiet and patient, until my prey lets down it's guard. But I have seen the comment effect in action from the other side. One of my regular commenters recently started their own serial and I can see a steady trickle of viewers going to them from my site. It's not a lot, likely because my own audience isn't huge, but it's more than I had at the same point in my own story. Don't get me wrong, I've deleted comments that were obvious attempts at reader theft. But someone who regularly makes a real contribution to a story's community will at least earn a glance from the other readers.


I do also squee a bit when I see comments from people I follow around this joint, I've specifically gone into forum threads a few places because I see a poster name that's familiar.


really the only other mas collection place i visit these days is teh forums at giantitp.com although i used to frequent the basement, a weblit forum at http://forum.novaseer.net/viewforum.php?f=8 that discusses a few specific works, it mostly started with a group from Tales of Mu when AE killed comments.


"I think they prefer that the content creators don't add or edit their own pages though, so you're a bit at the mercy of your fans when it comes to filling it out."


According to this:


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=14030701510A93296600&page=0


It's allowed. There seems to be a difference of opinion on how appreciated the practice is, but apparently there are no rules against it except that you abstain from exercising any author privilege (i.e. don't post anything any other reader wouldn't know) and stick to pure description without attempting to gush about your work--try to be as objective and straightforward as you can, in other words. I mentioned getting the idea from Wildbow, who said he put up the original pages for his serials with just a few tropes listed and let the fans fill in the rest. Authors aren't to put in WMG or YMMV entries, which makes sense.


I enjoy TVTropes very much an am generally aware of tropes both when I see them and when I use them; I could put in fifty entries on my own page right off the bat. I'm debating how much to restrain myself. Aside from selecting out the most relevant tropes, there's also the fact that the more you put in (and crosswick) the more likely you are to get people clicking through, which I have to acknowledge is a big part of my interest in it, aside from love of analysis itself.


What it comes down to is whether this would annoy the TVTropes community, which would be a big mistake, I think. From reading the site's forums I can't really get a consensus on that. Some people seem to be offended at the very idea; others state explicitly that they have no problem with the site being used for promotion.


Is a puzzlement.


@SGL and Maddirose - Wow. Those are some thoroughly insightful comments! Thank you so much for that! Especially for the TVTropes sections. If I'm going to try and leverage it, a fast-track on the user culture helps a ton.


I see it as a good way to build name recognition rather than full-out promotion (TVTropes). I found Order of the Stick from the dozens of examples listed on various pages. That got me interested in why it was so popular, and I've been a reader ever since. I agree with D.D Webb if TVTropes is anything like Reddit: it's a place for content to be celebrated and twisted and analyzed and turned over, not introduced, and damn well not advertised.


I am Tobias Funke-ing it as soon as I finish my next chapter: "Boy, this TOKoR thing's all anybody's ever talking about."